Apricot and Almond Tart

Friday, 31 July 2015

This week I'm a really excited and proud mummy. My son has learned to ride a bike!! A couple of months ago he was given a bike that he absolutely loved. He has been taking the bike to the park, without trying to ride it. Just walking with it to the park and back. Despite my best efforts, explaining how to ride a bike verbally to a 5-year-old boy didn't work for either of us.

Something I was not keen on was the use of stabilisers. I really think they are useless, as they make you learn to ride a bike twice: firstly with, then without. I am obviously not an expert, but I believe having stabilisers prevents the child from learning intuitively where their balance point is. But after a couple of months, I started to wonder whether I was completely wrong and the stabilisers were the key.

I love riding a bike, and I knew he would love it too. So last Tuesday I suggested that we could take his bike to the park, which he automatically accepted. 

We arrived to a pretty flat area, with no dogs or other children around. And when I was just about to start another theory lesson, he sat on the saddle, turned the pedals and had the confidence to ride away from the safety of my arms. 


I could not stop looking at him. He made no fuss of the fact that... he was riding a bike!! I was astonished, my boy, my little boy, was not little any more. I shouted encouragement but I don’t think he needed this as he had found something in himself and he was driven.

He looked so natural, like he had been doing it for years. And I then realised he never needed any of my poor attempts to explain how to do it. He needed me to be around, just in case. He needed to be ready. He just needed to be confident enough to do it. 

Of course, he refused to come back home. So we stayed until very very late, riding around the park at speed using his brakes and turning like he’d ridden his bike for years.
I asked what he liked the most about riding his bike. He said, with a huge smile, that feeling the wind in his face and being able to go anywhere he wanted to was just awesome.

Back at home we all celebrated the big event with an Apricot and Almond Tart. A fresh and full of flavour recipe that was just the perfect ending for a great day.


For the crème pâtissière

4 Egg yolks
60g Caster sugar
25g Plain flour
2 tsp Cornflour
280ml Milk
1 Vanilla Pod
50gr Ground almonds.

For the Tart

500gr Fresh Apricots
1/2cup Amaretto
100gr Caster Sugar
150gr Flaked Almonds
3tbsp Icing Sugar


Firstly, soak the apricots with the amaretto and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Then, we'll do the crème pâtissière.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and slightly thickened. Whisk in the flours.

Heat the milk  in a saucepan until stating to boil and then whisk the milk into the egg mix. Add the ground almonds and combine.

Put the mixture back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling.

Take the pan off the heat. Set aside

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Place the pastry on a floured surface and roll out. Lift over a rolling pin and put it onto a tart tin.

Gently ease the pastry into the tin, and cut the edges with a knife. Pierce the pastry base a few times with a fork. Cover with baking paper, dill with baking beans, chickpeas or rice and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, take out the beans and baking paper and bake for 5 more minutes. Once it has a golden colour, leave to cold for around 10 minutes and add the crème pâtissière.

Finally, drain the apricots and press them in cut-side up.

Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and icing sugar and bake for 20 more minutes.

Leave to cool and serve with a dollop of mascarpone or clotted cream.


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